Most ministers face head-to-head battles

| 02/03/2021 | 21 Comments
Cayman News Service
Osbourne Bodden with his nominators, Roy Bodden and Lorenzo Berry

(CNS): With the exception of Roy McTaggart, all members of Cabinet running to retain their seats in the upcoming election are facing head-to-head races. Although this could make the campaign tougher than it might have been if they were facing multiple challengers to split the opposition vote, Premier Alden McLaughlin nevertheless expressed confidence on Monday that he will lead his coalition to victory.

McLaughlin dismissed his own challenger, Sammy Jackson, when he queried why a West Bayer was coming to Red Bay.

The premier also seemed comfortable that the two ministers representing the Sister Islands would be returned. But it is clear that, in addition to his own fight being tougher than he might be prepared to admit, his health and commerce ministers have significant battles on their hands.

While Jackson is going for the biggest PPM scalp of all, Johann Moxam presents a significant challenge for Joey Hew in George Town North and Osbourne Bodden cannot be dismissed as a viable contender to take Seymour’s seat in Bodden Town East.

While Jackson and Moxam recognise themselves as underdogs in their races, Moxam has significant name recognition after his high profile part in the successful Cruise Port Referendum campaign, and he came out fighting after his nomination on Monday.

Moxam said he was running for the GTN seat because it was the right time to engage and offer the people a choice. He said Hew has come up short “in a lot of ways over the last four years” and the people needed transparent and honest representation.

“I am not the candidate of special interest, I am the underdog,” he said. “I do not have any big developer or multi-billionaires backing me. I’m the guy that’s going to do it the right way.”

Jackson, who also says he is not being backed by any rich investors, is shaking off his image as the ‘developers’ rep’ and categorically denies any allegations that a vote for him in Red Bay is simply a jump out of McLaughlin’s development frying pan and into his development fire. He recently told CNS that Cayman needs to completely readdress its planning and development laws to put the environment at the centre.

Meanwhile, in BTE Bodden is no stranger to the campaign fight. A former member of the PPM, Bodden has served two terms in office and was the health minister during the 2013-2017 administration until he came into conflict in the infamous ‘driftwood’ scandal, in which he verbally abused his chief officer, Jennifer Ahearn. He has, however, apologised on several occasions for that behaviour.

As he has pointed out, apologising is something that Speaker McKeeva Bush has failed to do in relation to his conviction for a violent assault. He said this is one of the reasons why he, Wayne Panton and Heather Bodden all resigned from the Progressives and have formed their own alliance.

Bodden still retains a following in Bodden Town, despite being beaten in 2017 by Seymour, who was running as an independent unaffiliated with the PPM, while Bodden was at the time fully in the Progressive camp. However, the major difference this time around is the absence of any other contenders.

Seymour secured just under 38% of the vote in the 2017 four-way race, while Bodden managed just under 26%. But a third contender, Rayal Bodden, took more than 32% of the constituency vote in 2017 and he is Osbourne Bodden’s campaign manager for the 2021 elections.

Meanwhile, over in West Bay, Mario Ebanks is aiming for the biggest scalp of all. Aware that he is in the hardest fight of any challenger, even in a head to head, Ebanks was undeterred when he spoke following his nomination yesterday. Ebanks has faced McKeeva Bush before and said he will be doing his best to offer the people of West Bay West a real alternative to the veteran member.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Election News

Comments (21)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    I now regret my “Yes” vote for the OMOV in the Referendum. Although OMOV is a political norm around the world, it is not suited to Cayman’s small population.

    In my case, I have an incumbent and only 1 challenger in my constituency – neither whom I favour. So likely, I will not vote. That is NEVER favourable to the true democratic process but what do I do? I suspect that there will be many like myself, and thus some will be elected with a minority vote. That itself cannot be true democracy in action.

    9
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      Not voting is the worst thing to do; you will not be able to hold either of them accountable. I truly invite you to reconsider.

      7
      5
  2. Anonymous says:

    No weed, No vote

    4
    2
  3. Anonymous says:

    You forgot to mention the 2 clowns from Cayman Brac

    4
    1
  4. Anonymous says:

    I maintain my proposal: independents sit together from now. Draw up a list of incomplete projects and form a government around completing those. Choose Cabinet based on proven experience and put education and employment, health and pension as the pressing issues. Healthy, well-educated citizens are the foundation of a thriving country and healthy retirees can serve as mentors, substitute teachers, etc. Do not let the crooks back in!

    17
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      Oz is Roy Aka Mr President advising you?

      We need to know.

      Mr prediction ppm 10 candidates independents 6 Mac 3.

      3
      3
  5. Anonymous says:

    It is quite clear that the country is heading towards the same position it was in 2016 where agreements would have to be made in order to form a government. This is inevitable and as soon as voters realise this the better off Cayman will be.

    It is clear that no single group will have a clear majority to form government. Based on my guess (and mine is as good as anyone else’s) the results will probably be IND – 8, PPM – 6 and McKeeva & Co – 5.

    So the question for every declared independent candidate is who will you be aligning with if you are elected in order to form the government?

    If any independent does not at this point have a clear response to this question, then you are not worth anyone’s vote.

    19
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      It was May 2017

      3
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva coming back as Premier! He’ll institute a National “Beat your Woman Day,” legalise slot machines in the hotels and approve every development project that gives him a unit or two.

      19
      4
    • Anonymous says:

      God forbid we have a government headed by MacKeeva.

      15
      1
    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I think the party system should be stopped, as it does us, the people no good whatsoever. I think our system should be changed where every elector casts two votes: One for Premier, and one for the MP of their district.

      I also think that people with dual citizenships should be allowed to run for MP. We need bright new ideas, people who really care about the Cayman Islands and her people more than lining their pockets or political control.

      I want someone who asks me what I want. I want someone who acknowledges that they work for us.

      16
      3
      • Anonymous says:

        To BeaumontZodecloun: During their meetings, they all acknowledge that they work for us; the problem is that they are quick to say it, but rarely act it. A few of the incumbents have not been seen up close by the people in their constituencies since four years ago, but you drive through and see the projects they managed to complete; others work closely with their people at the neighborhood level, but there have been no tangible projects or achievements in their districts. And the reality is that sometimes an MP simply cannot do both – the government machinery is too big or slow or complex and as much as they genuinely try, there is too much red tape. I can imagine how frustrating it is.

        3
        1
      • Anonymous says:

        6:47,pm, I agree with casting 2 votes, one for the M P and one for the Primer. But don’t agree with people with two citizenship should be able to run for M P. If one really care about and have Cayman at heart, Why would they want citizenship of another country, remember no one can serve two masters at the same time. Thank you

        5
        1
  6. Anonymous says:

    Alden, your Prospect residence may be close to Red Bay but it’s still not there. Please think before making your typical pompous remarks.

    17
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      Typical response by someone who is petty, childish and petulant and who has never spent more than a couple of weeks off this small island..
      Is he not one of the proponents of one person one vote? Well this may come back and bite in the @R$€ this time. People are complaining about the lack of choice they have in their constituencies.

      14
      4
    • Anonymous says:

      That West Bayer is going to send your ass walking after so much destruction made by you. Sammy thank you for stepping up to the plate but know the road ahead will be very rough and bumpy, To re-direct this ship cayman takes master work as the past “Captain” has ran it ashore on the reef ripped its bottom and it has been sinking since. I pray with the right crew you can afloat it again, as Captain Alden has been fired . Red Bay we can do this. For hope ..Vote Sammy Jackson.

      17
      6
  7. Anonymous says:

    If Elvis is not our next Premier, we have failed as voters.

    21
    2
  8. Anonymous says:

    I was with Oz until I see Roy beside him.

    12
    13

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.